By Ashleigh McMillan
For those daunted by the realities of optometric business, a book is available to guide you, covering everything from legal agreements to balancing your bottom line.
South African optometrist and lecturer Chris Faul’s book Navigating the Business of Optometry was first published in 2014, with the first print run selling out in 10 months. It was written with students in mind but has gained a wider audience in the profession.
Optometrist Andrew Kotsos is a partner in the eyeclarity practice in Emporium Melbourne, in the city’s CBD. He says the book isn’t just for young optometrists and although it refers to acts and laws which govern optometry in South Africa, Andrew says the concepts and philosophies in the book can still be related to the Australian optometric landscape.
‘I think back to three years ago when I was starting to get involved in business. I would have benefited hugely from reading something like this. I see a real benefit for someone at any level who is considering going into optometric business,’ he said.
‘I haven’t seen anything along these lines before. As optometrists, we tend to have just clinical texts. This book gives really good information for an optometrist who is considering going into business, whether as a sole practice owner or in a partnership, with a view to setting up all the necessary structures in the right way.
Andrew says the book is pitched above the level of an optometry student’s knowledge.
‘There’s some good content about operations and the day to day running of the business from a financial perspective, and how the nett profit changes when you start making changes to other areas of the business, for example, how discounting affects the bottom line.
‘The book also provides advice on the sort of information one might want when they’re considering the purchase of a business, which is great because while you might think you have an idea of the sort of things that are involved, you might not cover everything that is really important,’ Andrew said.
Chris Faul says that having lectured on the business aspects of optometry, it became clear to him that practitioners needed a business guide in a format to which they could relate.
‘My approach was to present information at a level that will allow for easy practical application by the eye-care professional. Conventional business and management books tend to use terminology that can be very confusing and off-putting.
‘Optometrists, like many other health-care professionals, tend to abdicate from the financial management of their businesses. I demonstrate in the book that if the eye-care professional has the right information, at the right time and in the right format, it becomes very easy to take charge of the financial management of the business,’ he said.
The Navigating the Business of Optometry e-book can be purchased on Amazon and the Apple iTunes store.